Thinking and Linking by Joanne Jacobs
The Carnival of Education, hosted by The Ed Wonks, includes a post by the Science Goddess on why education research doesn’t seem to influence teaching. Ryan on I Thought a Think has more.
Some random thoughts on Education Research
1. On which research to follow: it is helpful to look at what researchers of the research have to say about the findings, like Whatworks.ed.gov and American Institutes for Research.
2. On how to get research-supported best practices into classrooms: I’d venture to guess that not many school districts have administrative staff with the extra time needed to keep tabs on education developments, read what does get their attention with a critical eye, and then do what is required to promote sound ideas to staff in a way that can be easily implemented in classrooms. Teachers operate under similar time constraints, and many seem to run away from promoting new ideas, no matter how sound, because of feared political backlash.
So how then can sound research make its way into classrooms? Parents.
When a group of parents came forward in our community to take on a problem that had been vexing our schools for a decade, they were able to use education research to help solve the problem. The parents identified the scope of the problem, found the research, interviewed teachers in other school districts who were working with research-proven solutions to get in-the-field reports, wrote up their findings in an easy-to-read format, and shared what they found with stakeholders. Because of parentsâ€™ efforts, a research-based education practice previously dismissed by educators was back on the table for discussion. The result, reports of positive outcomes in the classrooms that tried it.
Seems that more should be done to empower passionate parents with solid analytical skills, no agendas other than what is best for students, and respectful approaches to fill the gap between research and classroom.
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